HELENA — The Capital High wrestling team took on one of the toughest squads in the state on Thursday, and were dealt a 42-20 loss to Bozeman High.
The Hawks won 8 of 13 matches in the Bears' Den, racking up three pins, three major decisions, one decision and a forfeit. Capital posted two staples, a technical fall, one major and a decision.
"Bozeman is one of the toughest line-ups we'll face, they have mostly 1s, 2s and 3s across the board," said CHS coach Jeff Mahana, referring to the Hawks' top-3 placings at last year's state tournament. "We battled hard, and we know we've got to get better, and it's good to know what we need to fix."
Longtime Bozeman coach Nate Laslovich, whose matmen were the 2017 AA runners-up, stated it was his "first dual" in the Bears' Den, and it was "a great atmosphere" to wrestle in.
"They do it right here, the crowd really gets into it, and this is a fun place to compete," said Laslovich, who is Capital basketball coach Guy Almquist's brother-in-law. "Our guys wrestled hard and battled ... Sure, we have to clean up some things technically, but I'm excited about the great effort we made against a good team."
Bozeman grapplers winning by pins were Tayt Rogers at 113 pounds, Leif Schroeder at 126, and Cy Cohenour at 160. Capital's pinners were back-to-back at 132 and 138, by Noah Kovick in 40 seconds, and Lee Lambrecht at 1:26. Kovick, just a freshman, has opened his career by beating his first four opponents in the first period.
A couple of the more competitive bouts took place at 120, where Bozeman's Sterling Quinn defeated Nolan Dulaney 8-6, and 145, where the Hawks' Chance McLane got the best of Travis Schulte 4-1.
Capital 205-pounder Seth Jensen captured a 22-7 technical fall. Claiming major decisions (by 8 or more points) were the Hawks Keagan Mulhill at 152 (12-1), Brig Johnston at 160 (14-5) and Brandon Cooper at 182 (11-1). Cooper, last year's state runner-up, had his hands full with Bruin sophomore Zane McCormack — who was competing in his first varsity match - for 2 1/2 periods, before pulling away in the final minute.
Brown and gold heavyweight Justin Jenks also produced a major decision.
Kovick, Lambrecht and Jensen are each 4-0 on the year for the Bruins.
"Bozeman's tough," Mahana said. "I'm happy to learn what we need to improve on."
Bozeman 42, Capital High 20
103 - Bridger Wilki, Boz, forfeit; 113 - Tayt Rogers, Boz pin Hunter Gilliam, CHS, :54; 120 - Sterling Quinn, Boz, dec Nolan Dulaney, CHS, 8-6; 126 - Leif Schroeder, Boz, pin Hayden Hebert, CHS, 5:05; 132 - Noah Kovick, CHS, pin Taylor Weirs, Boz, :40; 138 - Lee Lambrecht, CHS, pin Miles Brown, Boz, 1:26; 145 - Chance McLane, Boz, dec Travis Schulte, CHS, 4-1; 152 - Keagan Mulhill, Boz, maj dec Cole Bradford, CHS, 12-1; 160 - Cy Cohenour, Boz, pin Dalton Snyder, CHS, 1:23; 170 - Brig Johnston, Boz, maj dec Chance Lee, CHS, 14-5; 182 - Brandon Cooper, Boz, maj dec Zane McCormack, CHS, 11-1; 205 - Seth Jensen, CHS, tech fall Kaden Westlake, Boz, 22-7; Hvwt - Justin Jenks, CHS, maj dec Tom Walkup, Boz, 11-3.
Capital was penalized 1-point unsportsmanlike conduct.